A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World
THE WORLD HAS ENDED. AT LEAST WE STILL HAVE DOGS.
My name’s Griz.
I’ve never been to school, I’ve never had friends, in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.
I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters.
I’m torn on this review, so here it is in two parts:
The good review:
What a fun book with an engaging story and elegantly described world, I loved reading absolutely every page in detail. There’s a difficulty in drawing a picture in people’s minds eye, but Fletcher definitely knocked it out of the park, I highly recommend the book if you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic adventure stories that have a clear ending to them.
The bad review:
I can’t imagine that the author didn’t know about the short story “A boy and his dog”, or didn’t know about the movie that was then made from that story. Released in 1975, it was moderately successful and is one of the time period’s best post-apocalyptic stories with a telepathic dog and an underground civilization that was absolutely enamored by the fact that the guy has working testes. I thought I was getting this story when I bought the book, but half way through I realized that the dog in this book wasn’t talking at all, which is normal as far as dogs go, but why wasn’t it telepathic? So I pulled up the wikipedia page to see about the novelization differences, only to find out that it’s a completely unrelated story that just happening to be:
1 – titled exactly the same
2 – set in the same genre
3 – have the same premise (someone stole a dog)
4 – have the same apocalyptic setting (fertility issues)
To put some icing on the cake, after the story is finished, there’s a cool book club question section and the very first question is asking about the title and seeing if you thought it was clever maybe? It is in relation to what the story eventually reveals, but in terms of how I was feeling about the story, that question was not received in the way I bet they were expecting to be.
To summarize, this is a good book, but the IRL issues around it really left a bad taste in my mouth.